Archive for The 1970s

Rest In Peace Bruno Sammartino

Posted in 1980s, Rock with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2018 by 80smetalman

Bruno Sammartino

It’s my sad duty to announce the passing of the first ever legend of the WWE, the only real living legend, Bruno Sammartino. He was two time WWE champion and to my knowledge, his first title reign was the longest in the history of the federation, from 1963-71. His second title reign might have only been half as long but that has been longer than many champions since. Bruno Sammartino was also called, “Wrestling’s only true good guy.”

Bruno winning the title.

Although first retired in 1980, he did make a comeback in the mid 1980s, right when the rock and wrestling connection was getting into full swing. He may not have been fully active in that but his presence was still felt in the wrestling world. A tragic loss for wrestling and it seems 2018 will continue to suck as so many greats are taken from us.

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1984: David Bowie- Tonight

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2018 by 80smetalman

Every year through the journey through the golden age of heavy metal, there is no doubt in my mind that I missed an album or two that was considered a great album in that year. One I nearly missed was the “Tonight” album from the legendary David Bowie. My (poor) excuse for this was the fact that I was so caught up in posting about all the great metal albums that this one nearly past me by.

Thinking back to said year, I remember when the single, “Blue Jean,” from the album first appeared on MTV, my reaction to the song was, “Hey, David has gone back to his more traditional roots that brought him fame, no pun intended, in the 1970s.” “Blue Jean” is considered a light rocker in my eyes and it is the best song on the album. Back then, it persuaded me that “Tonight” would be better than his previous album, “Let’s Dance,” so I went out an procured it. After a listen, I came to the conclusion that “Tonight” was better than “Let’s Dance,” but not that much better.

For the first few songs, “Tonight” sounds like it was it was preformed by a late 1970s lounge act. Everything that comprises such a thing is present in these songs. It’s definitely music to mellow out to, however, I can not fault the first rate musicianship on the songs. It is why I can say that while theses songs aren’t exactly my cup of tea, they still provide good listening to if you are in the right mood. Two prime examples are the seven minute long opener, “Loving the Alien” and his mellowed cover of the Beach Boys classic, “God Only Knows.”

For those who have “Tonight” on vinyl or cassette, side two goes in a more harder rock direction starting with “Neighbourhood Threat.” This is a decent rocker and even more harder than the single “Blue Jean” and precisely the reason why it’s the hidden gem on the album. The single comes next and things pretty much carry on from there, although the remainder of the songs aren’t quite as hard rock as these two. Saying that, I do like the horns sound in “I Keep Forgettin.'” The second side is definitely the better side for me.

Track Listing:

  1. Loving the Alien
  2. Don’t Look Down
  3. God Only Knows
  4. Tonight
  5. Neighbourhood Threat
  6. Blue Jean
  7. Tumble and Twirl
  8. I Keep Forgettin’
  9. Dancing With the Big Boys

David Bowie

David Bowie- lead vocals

Derek Bramble- guitar, synthesizers, bass, backing vocals

Carlos Alomar- guitar

Omar Hakim- drums

Carmine Rojas- bass

Mark King- bass on “Tumble and Twirl”

Rob Yale- CMI on “Loving the Alien,” “Tonight” and “God Only Knows”

Guy St Ange-marimba

Sammy Figueroa- percussion

Tina Turner- vocals on “Tonight”

Iggy Pop- backing vocals on “Dancing With the Big Boys”

Robin Clark, George Simms, Curtis King- backing vocals

The Borneo Horns:

Stanley Harrison- alto and tenor saxophones

Lenny Pickett- tenor sax, clarinet

Steve Elson- baritone saxophone

Arif Mardison- string arrangements, synthesizers

Okay, David Bowie’s 1984 album “Tonight” doesn’t make me stop wanting to listen to “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders From Mars” but it is, at least in my opinion, better than his more commercial album, “Let’s Dance.” While it’s not something I would want to listen to in conjunction with any metal album, it is still a good album to lay back, mellow out and appreciate the fine playing on it.

Next post: Tank- Honour & Blood

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Gary Moore- Victims of the Future

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2017 by 80smetalman

 

UK Album Cover

North American Album Cover

Gary Moore as a solo artist didn’t enter my radar until 1986 when I went over to England. Before that and I am ashamed of my naivety at the time, I only knew Gary as the guitarist who used to be in Thin Lizzy. Fortunately, I got a full course in the music of Gary Moore when I did get there thanks to a friend who was a big fan. As a result I got to hear lots of his albums including this one, “Victims of the Future” and I can say that my education in this subject has been top notch. Thirty years on, I have to say a special thanks to Kieran Devlin for being my teacher.

My first impressions of “Victims of the Future” as with many Gary Moore albums, now as it was then, was “He can really play a guitar.” His trademark solos permeate this album and now I am tempted to go into a rant as to how underrated he has been.  That might be true in North American terms but he has always been considered one of the greats here in Britain and of course his native Ireland. Just listen to “Shapes of Things” because that is in my opinion, his best guitar work on the album.

Many of the songs here are straight forward rock anthems. My personal favourite is “Teenage Idol” because that one comes out and hits me in the face the most. “Murder in the Skies” has a very cool guitar intro where he rips up the chords before the meat of the song comes pounding through. A look at history reveals that Gary wrote the song in protest of the Soviets shooting down Korean airline 007 in 1983. The same can be said for “The Devil in Her Heart” which is only on the US release. This is a good rocking song so I don’t know why it’s omitted from the UK version. “Law of the Jungle” is another exemplary rocker and the way it fades out makes it a great closer but he does go a little mellow with “Empty Rooms.” You can call it a ballad but he lays down some good guitar work on it.

Not only does Gary shine on “Victims of the Future,” he enlists some great musicians. Ian Paice of Deep Purple fame plays drums on half the tracks and Bob Daisley who played with Ozzy provides the bass work on two. Noddy Holder of Slade steps in to provide backing vocals on one song. The others who support may not be as recognized but they still do a magnificent job. Therefore, the album has all one needs to be great, good vocals, a steady rhythm section and of course, Gary’s guitar solos.

Track Listing (UK)

  1. Victims of the Future
  2. Teenage Idol
  3. Shapes of Things
  4. Empty Rooms
  5. Murder in the Skies
  6. Hold Onto Love
  7. All I Want
  8. Law of the Jungle

Track Listing (US)

  1. Victims of the Future
  2. Teenage Idol
  3. Devil in Her Heart
  4. Empty Rooms
  5. All I Want (cassette only)
  6.  Shapes of Things
  7. Murder in the Skies
  8. Hold Onto Love
  9. Law of the Jungle

Gary Moore

Gary Moore- guitars, vocals

Neil Murray- bass on tracks 1,3,7 & 8

Mo Foster- bass on tracks 4 & 6

Bob Daisley- bas on tracks 2 & 5

Ian Paice- drums on tracks 1,3,4 & 8

Bobby ‘Prime Time’ Chouinard- drums on tracks 2,5,6 & 7

Neil Carter- keyboards

Noddy Holder- backing vocals on “Shapes of Things”

So thirty-one years on, I have to say “thank you Kieran” for introducing me to Gary Moore and playing his albums for me, “Victims of the Future” included among them.

Other news: A band I have been promoting on 80smetalman, Black Emerald, has invited me to their album launch party in Reading, UK on February 10. Needless to say, I am excited and you will get a full report of the night’s festivities.

Next Post: Since I’m in a Gary Moore mood, it will be his 1984 live album, “We Want Moore.”

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511084083&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malcolm Young: R.I.P

Posted in Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2017 by 80smetalman

Another great legend goes to the great gig in the sky.

1537

My favourite member of the best rock band there has ever been has died today.  Rock in Peace.

Back in Black.

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Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1984: Slade- Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2017 by 80smetalman

Throughout the later half of the 1970s, Slade had been trying to break into the American music market but with little success. Back then, I heard the name but nothing more. However, in 1983, Quiet Riot covered their 1973 hit “Cum On Feel the Noise.” Once Americans realized that the song had been originally written and recorded by Slade, a curiosity about the band arose and people began to check them out. Honest, it was on my to do list but I didn’t get around to it. That was until radio played the single, “My Oh My” from the 1984 “Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply” and then MTV played the video for “Run Run Away” quite a lot. Therefore, I had no other choice than to investigate Slade. It would be this album first. That led me to listen to them more and is why I site them as an ‘honourable mention’ in my series of “Other Great Metal Influences.”

The big question back in 1984 was should Slade be considered heavy metal? Of course, the trendies thought anything with a fuzzy guitar was heavy metal and some of the more self proclaimed hard core metalheads claimed the opposite citing the fact that Jim Lea wrote “Run Run Away” on his fiddle. Well that happens to be my favourite Slade song of all time and yes, there is definitely a folk influence in the song but for me, it still rocks. I love the crunching guitars at the beginning and the folk provides a cool twist. Amusing anecdote: For the first few weeks of hearing “Run Run Away,” I thought the lyrics “See chameleon” were actually “See comedian.” My ears were playing tricks on me.

“My Oh My” is another reason why I’m such a sucker for a good power ballad because that’s exactly what it is. I could never explain why but the lyrics to it really got to me then and when I hear it now, I think about that. Folk influenced tunes and power ballads aside, the album blows apart any argument that Slade aren’t capable of going total rock out. The best examples are the three tracks, “Slam the Hammer Down,” “In the Doghouse,” which has the best guitar solo on the album and the title track. All of these are really cool songs and stamp the argument that Slade can be considered heavy metal. Not that the other songs don’t rock because they surely do. Except for “(And Now the Waltz) C’est La Vie,” which is the other power ballad on the album. It’s good and better what some bands are capable of but I prefer “My Oh My.” Also the closer, “Ready to Explode,” is cool with the car racing commentary and it rocks pretty well too. Unlike the shorter tracks, it’s eight minutes long and you are not bored for one second of it. However, it’s the three mentioned ones that are the big headbangers on this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Run Run Away
  2. My Oh My
  3. High and Dry
  4. Slam the Hammer Down
  5. In the Doghouse
  6. Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply
  7. Cheap’n Nasty Luv
  8. Can’t Tame a Hurricane
  9. (And Now the Waltz) C’est La Vie
  10. Ready to Explode

Slade

Noddy Holder- rhythm guitar, lead vocals

Dave Hill- lead guitar, backing vocals

Jim Lea- bass, keyboards, backing vocals, accompanying lead vocal on “Ready to Explode”

Don Powell- drums, percussion, gongs

 

Quiet Riot may have helped Slade get the recognition they so dearly deserved in America but it was the “Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply” album that made everyone take notice that they were for real. They did start a tour in support of Ozzy in this year but Noddy Holder’s marital problems and Jim Lea coming down with hepatitis killed the tour. Shame, because I would have loved to have seen them.

Next post: Black N Blue

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510257719&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Rodger Hodgson- In the Eye of the Storm

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2017 by 80smetalman

A friend, in 1984, announced that Supertramp had a new album out. I had to inform him that it wasn’t the case. Instead, thanks to the single, “Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy), getting a fair amount of airplay on radio, I could tell him that former Supertramp guitar/vocalist Roger Hodgson had released his first solo album. One point to me, I think. Besides, my friend was a total Duranie and very anti- heavy metal.

I still feel the same way about Roger’s debut album, “In the Eye of the Storm,” now as I did back then. It could have been another Supertramp album. It became abundantly clear to me that Roger was the driving force behind the band and with his solo album, it was pretty much the same. Not that it’s a bad thing because it’s not. I’ve always liked Supertramp’s version of 1970s progressive rock. Nice keyboard work laced with some guitar done very creatively over rather long songs. I have this memory of Supertramp songs usually being in excess of five minutes, except for a few of the ones released as singles. It is the same on Roger’s album. Four of the seven songs are over seven minutes long and one is just a second below six. In a musical world where synth pop was emerging, I thought it was great to still hear some good progressive rock.

Though unusual for me, I have to say that “Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy) is my favourite track. I liked it enough when radio cut huge chunks out of the song for airplay so the full eight minute plus version was even better. The entire progressive rock arsenal went into making this one. Some great keyboards with bouts of both acoustic and electric guitar with Hodgson’s unmistakable vocals. It all adds up to a great song. Of course, there are other nice songs too. I do like “In Jeopardy” as it is more classic Supertramp. “Hooked on a Problem” is an interesting one. The introduction reminds me of the classic, “The Logical Song” but transforms into sounding like a carnival. I would be repeating myself if I dissected every song, except for “Lovers in the Wind” which does nothing for me personally and credit where due, Roger definitely chose the right song for the closer.

Except for where noted below, I thought it was cool that he got Michael Shrieve of HSAS fame to play drums on the album, Roger plays all of the instruments himself on the album proving what a fine musician he is.

Track Listing:

  1. Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy)
  2. In Jeopardy
  3. Lovers in the Wind
  4. Hooked on a Problem
  5. Give Me Love, Give Me Life
  6. I’m Not Afraid
  7. Only Because of You

Roger Hodgson

Roger Hodgson- vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums on “Hooked on a Problem” and “Lovers in the Wind”

Michael Shrieve- drums, except on tracks 3 and 4

Ken Alldaryce- harmonica, backing vocals

Jimmy Johnson- fretless bass on “Lovers in the Wind” and “Only Because of You”

Claire Diament- female vocals on “Only Because of You”

Scott Page- saxophone on “Hooked on a Problem

Thinking back, I now realize that there was more great progressive rock back in the mid 80s than I allowed myself to believe. This debut album from Roger Hodgson is indisputable evidence of that.

Next Post: Soundtrack to Footloose

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507494631&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Chicago- 17

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

I’d like to thank Rich for this one. If he hadn’t posted about Chicago’s 11th album from 1977, I would not have remember that the band had a really good album in 1984. Thank you Rich for jogging my memory here. Once my memory got into full swing, I remember that there was a song on this album I really liked. That was the opening track, “Stay the Night,” which I remember most because of the very amusing video got played quite a bit on MTV during the summer.

Reflections from my old age, I now realize that Chicago deserves more credit for “17” than what they actually received. There were two camps in 1984. Most bands were either going down the synth pop road or heading in a more harder direction. Chicago didn’t go down either road. Instead, they stuck with the same formula that made them so successful throughout the 1970s. Their fusion of soft rock and jazz influences work just as well on this album as they had on all of their previous ones. That is precisely why Chicago was my ‘not guilty pleasure’ in the mid 1980s.

Proof of what I’m talking about can be traced to the success of “17.” There were four singles, including my favourite track mentioned above, the best known of these was the ballad, “Hard Habit to Break.” Sure, it’s no where near a heavy metal power ballad but it’s a good song anyway. Just as successful was the track “You’re My Inspiration” which did just as well in the singles charts as “Hard Habit to Break.” The fourth single is probably the hardest rock song on the album, “Along Comes a Woman.” Guitarists Bill Champlin and Chris Pinnick deliver on the guitar on the track and the other instruments do well in support. It has a definite catchy vibe and that makes it my second favourite track. Of course, it wouldn’t be me if there weren’t any non single songs on the album to like. “We Can Stop the Hurting” takes the prize here as it is a definite reminder that Chicago were not about to compromise with their sound. “Remember the Feeling” does come closer to being a power ballad as there is some hard guitar in the background and a fairly decent solo on it. With some really great tracks to close, this album was just like anything you found on any Chicago album throughout the band’s history.

Track listing:

  1. Stay the Night
  2. We Can Stop the Hurtin’
  3. Hard Habit to Break
  4. Only You
  5. Remember the Feeling
  6. Along Comes a Woman
  7. You’re My Inspiration
  8. Please Hold On
  9. Prima Donna
  10. Once in a Lifetime

Chicago

Peter Cetera- bass, lead and backing vocals

Bill Champlin- guitars, keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Robert Lamm- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Lee Loughnane- trumpet

James Pankow- trombone, horn arrangements

Walter Perazaider- woodwinds

Chris Pinick- guitar

Danny Seraphine- drums

The reason why I considered Chicago to be my not guilty pleasure from the 1980s was down to the fact that by then, I was a total metalhead. Chicago are definitely not metal but I’ve always liked their softer version of rock, especially in the 70s. So there was no reason why I shouldn’t have carry it over into the next decade.

Next post: Roger Hodgson- In the Eye of the Storm

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507309311&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre